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UK: News In Brief


Friday, April 30, 1999 Published at 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK

Police find body of mower man

Police have confirmed that the body of a man found in the River Severn is that of missing businessman John Lewis.

Mr Lewis vanished from the garden of his riverside home at Minsterworth, near Gloucester, on 12 April. Police believed at the time that he may have wandered or fallen into the Severn after his ride-on lawnmower caught fire.

After the bizarre accident police found scorched items of clothing in the garden. Officers said then that the most likely explanation for his disappearance was that he either fell or jumped into the water after catching fire.

Firefighters pulled his body out of the river at Stonebench - more than a mile upstream - onThursday, and the 64-year-old's identity was confirmed on Friday.


Horn op for amorous rhino

An amorous rhino has had his horns sawn off to prevent him from seriously injuring his two female companions.

The two-ton African White rhino called Dick is back on his feet after the 80-minute operation, in which a team of six men sawed about 12 inches off the larger of his two horns, and four inches from his smaller one.

Bob Fotheringham, Park Manager at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, said the unusual surgery had been performed on Dick's horns to protect his companions, Alice and Maggie, as the mating season approached.

He said: "They were quite sharp and we were worried that he would do some damage to his companions because he is in quite an amorous state."


Gardeners 'should boycott peat'

Gardeners are being urged to help protect the environment this Bank Holiday weekend by boycotting peat.

Friends of the Earth is aware that the May Day break is one of the busiest weekends in the horticultural calendar with millions flocking to nurseries to restock their gardens

But the group says Britain's wildlife-rich peatbogs are vanishing because of their exploitation by the commercial peat industry.

Thorne Moor, a site of special scientific interest in South Yorkshire, is allegedly under threat because of peat extraction.


Dog's boots made for walking

A Jack Russell dog has been fitted with hand-made boots because he suffers from a rare deformity which makes it painful to walk.

The four-year-old dog, who was found abandoned on Dartmoor, is called Webby because he was born with webbed feet.

Vets discovered that Webby's condition meant it was painful for him to walk, so a pair of ankle length blue lace-up boots have been made specially for him by staff at Conker shoes in Totnes, South Devon.

Owner Rick Williamson said: "Webby loves his shoes and gets all excited when we put them on him, because he knows he is going out for a long walk."



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